Iowa Poison Control: ‘No Good Proof Ivermectin is Beneficial’

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Ivermectin—a livestock dewormer some COVID minimizers falsely think can cure the disease—has become a recent mainstay on Google Trends for American internet users.

Health agencies across the country warn Americans not to use the drug as a preventative measure or treatment option for COVID. This week, hospitals in Oklahoma reported being overwhelmed by emergency room patients who overdosed on Ivermectin.

According to the Iowa Poison Control Center, symptoms from an Ivermectin overdose include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and allergic reactions—including itching and hives. More severe symptoms range from low blood pressure to dizziness, problems with balance, seizures, coma, and even death.

“For people that maybe bring this as an option, we really strongly encourage people to consult with a physician before considering any unapproved treatment,” said Tammy Noble, a registered nurse and education coordinator for the Iowa Poison Control Center.

The center typically handles about five calls a month related to human exposure to Ivermectin. Those calls usually involve people who were accidentally exposed to the drug via their eyes, mouth, or skin.

“That’s largely because Iowa is an agricultural state and we have animals that are on Ivermectin or should be receiving Ivermectin,” Noble said.

August is when the Ivermectin treatment gained more mainstream notoriety; however, the center only reported five exposures for the month.

“Majority were not people trying to take it for treating or preventing COVID,” Noble said.

While the number of Iowans intentionally exposing themselves to the drug remains low, Noble offers a reminder that Ivermectin is not a Food and Drug Administration-approved treatment nor preventative option for COVID.

“So there’s no good proof that Ivermectin is beneficial,” Noble said. “And we really, strongly advise people never to use medications intended for animals on yourself.”

One reason Noble offers that advice is because drugs intended for large animalssuch as cows and horsesare formulated at much higher concentrations.

“When that’s taken by a human, it can lead to an overdose,” she said.


  • The Iowa Poison Control Center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 1-800-222-1222.


by Ty Rushing

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